Start of the summer holidays

So here we are, at the start of our 7+ weeks of summer holidays.  So far, we’ve had (lovely) houseguests, blazing sunshine, violent thunderstorms and drizzle.  My children lost one of the Magnatiles under the fridge and my husband and I got it out.

We’ve been to Blackgang Chine, which is an absolutely awesome place EXCEPT for the Crooked House.  Which I hate.  I usually refuse to go in but this time my husband had taken my son onto the Rollercoaster (my daughter is too small) so I went in with her.  Afterwards I had a latte and a walk around the pirate ships to recover.

This is horrific

Getting ready for the summer holidays

I know that I haven’t been on here very much.  My son breaks up for the summer holidays on Friday and we’ve had Sports Day, end of term performances, the summer fair (which I helped out at), my husband’s birthday etc.  It does feel a bit like the End of Days where I’m taking stock of what we have, what we need and what I need to do.  I’m having a haircut this afternoon and cancelling an appointment for tomorrow.  I’ll have to book in to see the hygienist in September as there isn’t time to do that before the end of school.  That sort of thing.

The Spike is doing a series on capsule wardrobes, which is interesting.  I think I, more or less, already have a capsule wardrobe.  Although the other day I moaned to my Mum that I only had one white T shirt and am in dread of the day when it is no longer wearable (it was made by Boden but YEARS ago and they haven’t brought out anything half so good since) and she bought me one of these in white:

I was so pleased with it, I ordered another white one and two grey ones (which have arrived).  They’re only £6.50 each so this was not as profligate as it seems written down.

I’ve done a cull of my son’s too-small trousers and shorts.  Now all I need to do is start packing.

We’re nearly at the start of the summer holidays

New plants for the flowerbed near the kitchen

As the slugs have eaten a whole load of the new plants I’d put in, the flowerbed near the kitchen has been looking a bit bare (which, realistically, means more bloody creeping yellow buttercup).  I had a load of foxglove seedlings in the cold frame that were getting a bit leggy – the instructions on the packet said to plant them out in October but no chance.

So I ended up putting a load in the wildflower meadow, the lower garden, the upper bank, the bed at the bottom of the garden and the bed by the kitchen (I had loads of plants).

These are a bit leggy – I hope they become more cabbagy soon
Bed with the foxgloves in

I assume that (as they are poisonous) the slugs won’t eat them.  They aren’t terribly pretty as the plants but when they flower they are glorious – for about three weeks.


My hydrangeas are finally flowering.  One in particular (the Strong Annabelle) is looking really pretty.  The rest are a bit half hearted – perhaps I need to cut back the stuff around it a bit more.  Or perhaps they take a while to get going.

Strong Annabelle
Oak leaved hydrangea – sometimes I regret not giving this the middle spot
Think this is lime white

All my hydrangeas are white, more or less, but the other day I saw these pink hydrangeas in the gardens at St Paul’s Cathedral and thought they were fantastic.


Name tapes

It is that time of year again – the time to order new uniform for the next school year and sew name tapes into it all when it arrives.  Logo’d stuff comes from the school supplier.

The sewing kit comes out once a year

In the past I’ve bought shorts and trousers from them as well but, although they look good, the hems come down really quickly (infuriating) and they’re relatively expensive.  So this year I bought a load of shorts and trousers from M&S – because they were on sale – and then found that it was all stiff and shiny.  So back it went.

I then tried John Lewis, which was a bit more expensive but at least the stuff looked okay.

So far, I’ve sewed name tapes onto:

  • two pairs of swimming shorts;
  • two pairs of school shorts;
  • two pairs of school trousers (one age 6, the other age 7);
  • one school jumper; and
  • three school polo shirts.

My son will also have to wear a swimming hat but as this is silicon, there’s no way I can sew a label onto it.  My husband’s mum suggested I paint his initials onto it with nail varnish which is a terrific idea.  I’ll have to see whether I have any nail varnish that is not extremely expensive (waste) and is not pink (he’ll moan if his initials are pink).  Or I may have to resign myself to having to get a new one whenever he loses it.

Looking through his uniform, he still needs two more pairs of age 6 trousers, another school jumper (he has two from this year but one is getting really short and the other is covered in a weird red stain that won’t fade – think it must have been washed with a bleach cloth) and a swimming towel.  All of which have been ordered.

One (not very serious) problem I have is that there are now three pairs of faded, too-small trousers, one pair of too-small shorts and a couple of school jumpers that are no longer needed.  What do I do with them?  There is a second hand uniform sale on at the school every so often so perhaps one of the jumpers and the pair of shorts could go to that.  However, I can’t send in faded, hem-drooping trousers and a jumper with a stain.  It feels shameful to put them in the bin but I can’t see that any charity shop will want them either.  Plus, do I have to cut the name tapes off?  I have no idea.